Wright State president encourages students to counter hate speech

Wright State University is encouraging students to report incidents of campus ‘violence and hatred’ anonymously.

WSU president Cheryl Schrader sent a message to counter “negative speech” and “hateful action” on campus, while also being willing to engage in “difficult yet civil and productive conversations with others who believe differently than you do.”

The message, sent out on the first day of classes, comes just a few weeks after the violence in Charlottesville, Virgina.

RELATED: Wright State adds rules sign to rock that caused controversy last fall

“As we celebrate the beginning of another year, many of us are also wrestling with the impact of the recent actions of others in Charlottesville, Virginia,” Schrader wrote. “Acts of racism, anti-Semitism, violence, and hatred continue to exist in our country. Let me be clear: Hateful actions and speech are not welcome at Wright State University.”

In the email, Schrader encouraged people to report incidents via the university's anonymous reporting system or through the Wright State Office of Equity and Inclusion by emailing oei@wright.edu or calling 937-775-3207.

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Schrader’s message was not prompted by any incidents on campus, said WSU spokesman Seth Bauguess. But, it comes just days after Wright State added a rules sign to a rock last year that caused some free speech and racial controversy on campus.

ICYMI: Wright State rock repainted to say ‘Black Lives Matter’

In September, the rock was painted by students to say “Black Lives Matter.” Shortly after, the word “black” was changed to “white” and later to “all,” causing some controversy. The controversy led to a march through campus to the rock which students repainted again with the word “black.”

“We are a community that is committed to justice, inclusion, freedom of expression, and civil discourse,” Schrader wrote. “We will remain steadfast in our opposition to discrimination in any form.”


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